When the Office is the Nursery

Working from home sounds like a sweet set-up. You can live in pajama pants! It's okay if you didn't shower! Your hours are whatever you make them (for the most part.)

But when instead of an administrative assistant, you have a fussy 3-month-old seated next to you, managing a work-from-home schedule gets tricky.

I am very blessed that I can perform the majority of my job from home. I am not complaining by any means- but simply confessing that this gig is much trickier than I thought it would be.

For example: I thought because the baby naps for 4-5 hours a day, that equaled 4-5 hours of quiet work time. I didn't account for Ezra being a Velcro baby. He will startle and wake at a pin drop in a crib, but sleep all day if being held. Here is how I end up working most days:

Does this mean my Moby wrap is a tax-deductible office expense?

Working mom guilt is also present even if I'm home. Ezra loves his play mat, so I will lay him down there when I need to type or make a phone call. I am literally three feet from him, but still feel guilty that I'm not actively playing with him. 

I keep telling myself a schedule will emerge and we will find our groove. But in reality, his moods are as unpredictable as Kentucky weather. We have days where he is content to play and nap alone and I can knock out a whole to-do list. Other days, he is stuck to me like glue and I try to manage business from my cell phone while making futile attempts to calm him.

As I write this, he is balanced belly down across my thighs while my laptop teeters perilously on my knees. Next, I am going to copy edit some pages by reading them out loud to him, which we will count as "story time." 

Working from home is a dance where the steps are always changing. It can be hard to keep up. But I sure have a gosh-darn cute partner.


Kind Words from Strangers

The bathroom can be a very social place for women. We tend to travel to restrooms in groups, and it's not unusual to strike up a conversation over hand-washing. 

This past weekend I attended a dear friend's wedding. During the reception, I needed to pump breastmilk for my son. I had no desire to walk in the cold to a dark parking garage and pump in my car, so I set up in a bathroom stall and went to work.

Once I felt I was drained, I took my pump parts to the sink to clean up. A lady washing her hands gave me a friendly smile and asked, "How old is your baby?"

We briefly chit-chatted about our children and she ended the conversation by saying, "Good for you. It is really great you're doing that here."

That woman had no idea how much I needed to hear that.

I'd been depressed over my lack of cute "easy nursing" clothes as I got ready for the wedding. I was feeling guilty about leaving my son with my parents for the evening. I hated pumping in a bathroom stall, where I was trying to relax for a let-down but was distracted by the sounds of urination two feet away. 

Kind words from a stranger changed my whole attitude. "Yeah," I thought. "This is really great. My outfit is just fine. I am enjoying an evening of grown-up conversation with friends. I may be in a bathroom stall, but at least I am physically able to produce milk for my baby."

So thank you, bathroom stranger. There is never a wrong time to offer a fellow mom words of encouragement.

Clearly, he is eating well.